Real interim coach chooses to focus on job at hand than his promotion
Solari faces tough test at Celta Vigo
Madrid – Real Madrid interim coach Santiago Solari will be hoping to further boost his chances of securing the job on a full-time basis by successfully negotiating a tricky trip to Celta Vigo in La Liga on Sunday.
The visit to the Estadio Municipal de Balaídos represents the sternest test of Solari’s brief reign so far, with the Argentine former midfielder having won all three games since taking over from the sacked Julen Lopetegui.
Real, sixth in the table and seven points behind leaders Barca, have struggled at the Galician side’s intimidating stadium in the past, though, and could only muster a 2-2 draw at the venue last season.
Local media reports suggest a victory would complete an impressive audition for the role with a promotion, but Solari insists that he is focused on three points rather than his future.
“I’m just thinking about the next game despite everything,” he said.
“I can only look to the next link in the chain, and the most important game is always the next one. We are focusing all our efforts on this weekend’s match. “I know it’s a cliché, but football is about the here and now, and it’s not a bad philosophy to go by.”
Elsewhere on Sunday, tabletoppers Barcelona host Real Betis as they look to maintain the pace in their title defence, but it remains to be seen whether the Catalans will have Lionel Messi back from injury for the match.
“He is training, but it’s not the same as playing in a toplevel game with collisions and intensity, so we don’t want to take any risks with him,” coach Ernesto Valverde said.
“The objective is always to get three points.”
It is also shaping up to be an interesting weekend for the chasing pack, with only one point separating the sides from second to fifth place, starting tomorrow evening when fourth-placed Atletico host struggling Athletic Bilbao. – Reuters
Coach Santiago Solari of Real Madrid.